What is soy?

Soy is a protein derived from soybeans and can be present in many foods. It may be an obvious ingredient, like in soy sauce or soy milk, or it may be hidden in the ingredient list of a product.

What is a soy allergy?

A soy allergy is when your body mistakes soy and soy products as a harmful substance. Soy is one of the most common allergens in Canada. If you have a soy allergy and consume soy, you may experience an allergic response. Some signs of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or dizziness. If you are allergic to soy, you must avoid all food products that contain soy. Click here for soy allergy information from Health Canada.

If you think you have a soy allergy, please contact your family doctor or health care provider.

  • Read food labels each time you shop as products may change.
    • Other ingredients to avoid with a soy allergy include: bean curd, tofu, dofu, edamame, kinako, natto, nimame, okara (soy pulp), soya, soybean, miso, soja, tempeh, and yuba.
  • Click here to see Soy-Free Portfolio Diet recipes.

How can I follow the Portfolio Diet without soy?

  • Focus on eating legumes to enjoy the same benefits as soy.
    • Beans (black, pinto, white, kidney, cannellini, black eyed peas, fava/broad, navy, etc)
    • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
    • Lentils (red, yellow, brown, green)
    • Peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Legumes are similar to soy as they are shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and are a source of plant protein. For the plant protein tip sheet, click here.

How can I add legumes to my diet?

  • Top your salad with roasted chickpeas
  • Make your own hummus with chickpeas
  • Include lentils, beans, or chickpeas into your chili, soup, stew, curry, and puddings*
  • Have a mixed bean salad*
  • SautĂ© frozen peas in olive oil or add to your stir-fry
  • Include mashed beans or lentils in your baking
  • Make your own bean burgers

*Portfolio Diet recipes, click here

Other Soy Allergy Tips

  • Pair your legumes with a grain, such as barley, oatmeal, or oat bran bread to make it a complete protein.
  • Split red lentils cook quicker than other types of lentils.
  • Rinse your canned legumes before using them to reduce the amount of salt.
  • Soaked dried legumes before using them to shorten the cooking time and improve digestion.
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